malware and memorials
Saturday September 30th 2017, 10:31 pm
Filed under: Berkeley,calendars,exit,fall,memory,Miscellaneous, Truly,reminiscence Tags:

How the frack did that happen? Most annoying. An email with a list of PHP files that needed to be deleted. I doubt I’ve successfully cleaned it by hand. Changed the WordPress password, the FTP passwords, deleted all but one of the files (permissions issues, but renamed it) so we’ll see. Be a shame if TPT had to be wiped.

Not at the memorial in Berkeley today. Couldn’t face it, emotionally or practically speaking. Last time I was there they treated me like shit. Up to the Christmas Eve “do you think you could revise the whole thing beginning to end for next Tuesday” ending. Also made complicated by all of the animus that “she hates me because I’m younger, prettier, and smarter” used to bear to her. Who the fuck knows. Other people’s insecurities are unfathomable, sometimes.

So I raise a glass to yet another dead friend, teacher. Since the upgrade to iOS 11 my phone keeps reminding me several times a day that I have an un-listened-to voicemail from Helen. I know it’s there. If I wanted to listen to it, I would have by now. But thanks for the ghost-in-the-machine nudges, 2+ years later.

Apparently they closed the Bear’s Lair, where you could buy a fucking quart of beer on campus. And those glorious wood desks from Wheeler Hall offices are piled on the steps, to be destroyed. Relics of an age where big desks meant big dicks, they were gorgeous. Possible too big to remove from the offices without some additional demo. I wish I’d known – I would have rented a uhaul and rescued one. Over a quart of beer.



Eleventh Fall
Monday September 19th 2016, 9:24 pm
Filed under: calendars,can't make that shit up,nextish,seasonal,tired Tags:

Having been shopping for child seats for a bike, not a great title, perhaps. But so it goes. 10 fucking years. 11 fall quarters. Thousands of students. And today, the 8th volunteer day, sorting canned goods at a food bank. The kids are alright (though, I know I wasn’t a kid at 18. Nope. Not at all.). Amusing that one of them was a junior-year-abroad from London, via TCD, who when I was describing my current book to a crowd tilted his head and said “Ashburnham House”?

Playing with the finally-upgraded new version of Logic, messing with vocals from North Oxford two? three? life-times ago.Double-tracking, re-pitching for harmonies and counter-lines, fiddling with pitch and timing for realism. Oh, the things you can do. Technology. Kids today. Etc.

Mostly, tired. But I try to begin fall with something more than the baseline of requisite enthusiasm. A few days in DC getting actual work done were a nice push to slough off the summertime sadness of another 6 weeks sold for money in a compromise I will always resent. Gonna be a busy year. It always is, but this one looks like more work and less ohmygodchildicanthelpfuckitivegotanexcusesorrybye.



Less nostalgic than usual
Friday January 01st 2016, 12:16 am
Filed under: calendars,himself,holidays,nextish Tags:

Perhaps because of the radiator I bottomed out while pulling on to the Angeles crest highway, or the 4 plus hours I spent waiting for a tow truck (YCT and himself having been rescued at the 2 hour mark) on Tuesday, or the two grand I sank into keeping harmony amongst familial factions last week, or the very very bloody cut in his gums that he managed to inflict upon himself this afternoon, I’m pretty chill with this evening being a year passing. His birthday seemed more momentous, a year in his life, and only secondarily mine. The school year has always outweighed the calendar year, and I guess they’ve slipped to third and fourth.

So. Lo. Hwaet. Not much to see or to say. Endured? Enjoyed? Enlightened? No need for summary, or redacted reductiveness, so that’ll be that.

Farewell again to the dead, hello again to the newly living.



Back to it
Wednesday September 23rd 2015, 10:28 pm
Filed under: calendars,change,himself,nextish,teaching Tags:

Teaching, not work. I’ve been working. Plus himself. Which is a different kind of work. But back to it tomorrow, with a weird set of night-before jitters. It matters. But it’s different.



On the one thousandth playing of Metheny’s Map of the World
Friday January 14th 2011, 9:47 am
Filed under: calendars,damn,HelLA,self-indulgent,sober,whingeing,Work Tags:

1000 since I moved to HelLA, that is, some 4 1/2 years ago. And what I really feel is not much of anything. Tired. Need more coffee. And need to get out of this, out of here. Sucking it up to get through the almost despair-inducing silence while I wait for word, while I wait for words that will performatively seal my words in the ten point type of public voice for public consumption, rather than the weirdly hybrid project here. And while i wait there is no simple waiting, but the mad and manic drive go produce still more public words, even while wondering how long the silence will run, how much it can erode what seems to be a much more fragile confidence (arrogance) than I’ve realized for a while.

And this town. Another balmy day in winter, the comfort of the sun at odds with the dark and bleak of my world, the welcoming climes in contrast to my sense that living is a battle with a hostile because indifferent world. And, the joy of a dog who, because a dog, is rapturously happy to greet the day with a squeak toy and me. Time to move on. 1000 mornings in three apartments, but only one town. Come august, I’ll have lived here as long as i lived in Berkeley, as long as I lived in the UK. And that, i reject. Soon it’s time to add years to a different place, to live life on a different clock. This one wears me down.



August 12, 1997
Sunday December 26th 2010, 11:09 pm
Filed under: Boozy,calendars,holidays,memory,nostalgia Tags:

That’s when the bottle of Bunnahabhain I’m drinking was distilled. Unchillfiltered, bottle no. 26 of 376, cask 5499. Acquired locally a week ago. My god. A lifetime, that week, the 11 days since I finished the manuscript. Let alone the 13 1/2 fateful? years since distillation. Since the summer afteer graduation, on again off again on again (who is now quite pregnant) would have been, i think, off again, between particularly meaningful bouts of on again. Not sure where bruises easily is – either with me, or on her way to grad school in the Midwest. And I’m either still in the sublet on again off again and i subletted, or in the warehouse, Xanadu. The plan, for the coming year, is to have something resembling 1996, the year before i graduated from college, or 2004, the year before the dphil was awarded. This stile before i jump through yet another hoop of ever increasing sophistication and compleplexity. But, mostly, another hoop. And thus the year leading up to might as well have all the angst, drama, mobility and motility of past rounds. Not only once more with feeling, but, what the fuck are these feelings for, now. Old enough to know who you are and young enough to do something about it, i read, somewhere, sometime not long ago. Damn fucking straight. How to be very Selby, the list on her bedroom door read, and for the most part she’s lived that life. It’s time to make my list, not because i haven’t lived the life, but because i fear skipping or skimping on some of the more important details in the near future. In the crush. To do something about it. As I did when this scotch was distilled, a few months before applying for grad school, choosing/chosen knowing/known the path that has led me here, intentionally and accidentally, purposefully and through incredible luck. I reject the narrative of lucky me that some, many, would apply, but to do so is not to fail to credit the luck Ive had. But I’ve worked, bled, burned, earned it, too, in the long years since distillation. I’ll have to get still older scotches in another decade or so, to reminisce properly, but for now, the youngest of the old ones will do….



6 Years ago
Wednesday February 24th 2010, 10:23 am
Filed under: calendars,memory,self-indulgent,sober,Work Tags:

End of Feb, just re-read the month’s archives from beginning to end. The last month in a charity-room in one London flat, moved to the house, quit the job listening to calls, and Started Writing. At long last, I started fucking writing. I’ve already started, this time, but then I’ve also stopped, which is something I’ve gotta fix. Not gonna go for a run, and am contemplating starting smoking even as I radically diminish drinking, but I know precisely What Is To Be Done, just not How To Get There From Here. Other than head down, ass in chair, hours upon hours until the question is answered, is made moot (in the American sense, not the English sense). Fuck me 6 years ago reads like a lifetime ago. My heart bleeds for my grad student who got rejected by the British Library last week. So much rejection in this thing we do – no one every really warned me or told me, but even warning her, telling her, I can see how much she’s hurting. As I did, do, will.



uh oh
Friday November 06th 2009, 12:04 am
Filed under: calendars,can't make that shit up,copy-and-paste,Oxford,plagiarism,reminiscence,seasonal Tags:

From the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders:

Narcissistic Personality Disorder, characterized by “a persuasive pattern of grandiosity (in fantasy or behavior), need for admiration,
and lack of empathy…indicated by five (or more) of the following:
1) An exaggerated sense of self-importance
2) Preoccupation with fantasies of unlimited success, power,
brilliance, beauty, or love
3) Believes that he or she is “special” and can only be understood by,
or should associate with, other special or high-status people…
4) Requires excessive admiration
5) Has a sense of entitlement….
6) Selfishly takes advantage of others to achieve his or her own ends
7) Lacks empathy
8 ) Is often envious of others or believes that others are envious of him or her
9) Shows arrogant, haughty, patronizing, or contemptuous behavior.”

5 or more? Fuck, I aced it.  Wait, this isn’t a quiz?

Odd cycles at play, this cold not leaving fast enough, the paper still to write (or, cut and paste, depending upon your level of perspective and pedantry), and now this.  Plus, I need a place to stay in Oxford next May, cuz college sucks.  It’s looking like Lincoln, York, Durham, Edinburgh, Glasgow in early Jan, then Aberystwyth, Worcester, Gloucester, Exeter, Winchester in early Feb, then Cambridge, London, Oxford for mid-May.  Too much work, not enough drinking with friends.  Any volunteers?



deadline, lifeline
Thursday March 19th 2009, 4:54 pm
Filed under: calendars,damn,friends,myjobfuckingrocks,myjobfuckingsometimesdoesntrock,whingeing,Work Tags:

Is there any other way to work?  A friend arrives this evening, and with far too much to do, and far too much I want to do, the deadlines pile up.  The grant application mostly done and mostly submitted which mostly clears that corner of my desk for the graduate papers arriving (mostly?) tomorrow, which I will mostly read and mostly not comment upon in order to grade in accordance with what they’ve mostly earned.  Then there’s that whole pesky article question, which shall probably involve at least a bunch of hours tomorrow, Sat., and Sun., to be scheduled around everything else.  Next up arrives Monday, if he gets around to telling me when, and from Wednesday night onwards it’s a right-on write-off.  See what I did there?  God, sometimes I miss the censor.



cyclics
Thursday March 13th 2008, 6:53 am
Filed under: calendars,commies,reminiscence,whingeing,Work Tags:

Last day of class, tomorrow.  And my reward? A shitload of papers, followed by a shitload of finals, on Tuesday.  If I handle it right (i.e. punish/reward myself sufficiently), I should have it all cleared off my desk by this time next week, so I can abandon the paper I was working on today (*waves cheerily*) and turn to the one I haven’t written (*waves warily*) before then turning back to the one I was working on, etc.  The turn around is brutal – a single week of spring break, and then the new quarter, and in that week the two talks and two classes to prepare.  Yes, of course it could be much much worse, and to the one of you who I know reads this with her 4-4 teaching load, yeah, poor little rich kid, etc., but hell, it’s my blog and I’ll whinge if I want to.  Last year I taught Fall and Winter, and had spring off – I went to England last April, to look at the books (and drink of the pints, if my increasingly saturated memory serves aright).  An email exchange with the friend who probably will never receive the letter, and a friendly reminder that her shit doesn’t stink.  And a thought, unexpected, that if I stay here until they’ve decided they won’t make me leave, I’m playing it safe.  Never been my strong suit, safe, even if it’s been my weak point (if that makes any sense, and I think it does, if you know what I mean and I think you do).  Why not shove my head in the jaws of a hostile institution halfway through?  Although I should probably finish this book of mine, in that case, and get it out the door and perhaps a polite review or two.  Or, fuck it, burn the shit.  Admit that I have less control over my life as “successful” than I ever did whilst betwixt and between and in the cracks.  And reassert that control by redefining successful.  Or just admit that I’m annoyed I finished the Scotch.  “I’m out of Chivas,” he said to a room full of construction workers, staggeringly slightly.  Not me, fools.  Him. To quote M., as N calls him, “Only to read childrens’ books / only to love childish things, / throwing away adult things, / rising from saddest looks.”